“It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done” -Nelson Mandela

 

Markets Close Higher

North American stock markets registered solid gains Friday amid stronger than expected employment reports in Canada and the United States. The S&P/TSX composite index ran up 80 points to 13,281 as Statistics Canada reported that the economy added 21,600 jobs during November; almost double the number that had been expected. The jobless rate held steady at 6.9%.

The Dow Jones industrials gained 139 points to 15,961 even as the U.S. employment report left intact concerns the Federal Reserve will start to cut back on a key stimulus measure sooner than expected. The U.S. Labor Department reported that 203,000 jobs were created during November, on top of a revised 200,000 in October. Economists had expected a gain of around 180,000. The solid American jobs number added to other data that came out this week showing an improving economy, including strong manufacturing and housing reports and stronger than expected third quarter economic growth.

Self Employment Increases

Canadian self-employed numbers are on the rise. Following several years of little growth, the number of self-employed Canadians has increased 1.7% year-to-date, outpacing the 1.3% rise in paid employment, finds Scotiabank. Self-employment is on track to account for about one-quarter of net job creation in 2013, significantly higher than its 15% share of the overall workforce. The recent upswing appears to reflect improving confidence in the economy, rather than weak labour market conditions pushing Canadians into self-employment. There are currently about 2.7 million self-employed individuals in Canada, accounting for 15% of the total workforce. Sixty per cent of self-employed workers are owners of unincorporated businesses, including independent workers such as childcare providers. The vast majority (86%) do not employ any paid help. The other roughly 40% are owners of incorporated businesses, with a fairly even split between those with and without employees. The likelihood of being self-employed increases with age, with one-third of workers aged 65 and over choosing self-employment over paid work compared with less than 10% for those aged 25-34. The majority of self-employed workers are between the ages of 35 and 64.

 

Market Update as of December 6 2013

The TSX closed at 13281, down -114 points or -0.85% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 5.90%.

The DOW closed at 16020, down -66 points or -0.41% over the past week. YTD the DOW is up 22.25%.

The S&P closed at 1805, down -1 points or -0.06% over the past week. YTD the S&P is up 26.58%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4063, up 3 points or 0.07% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 31.45%.

Gold closed at 1228, down -22.00 points or -1.76% over the past week. YTD gold is down -26.90%.

Oil closed at 97.71, up 4.70 points or 5.05% over the past week. YTD oil is up 5.55%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.0639, up 0.0025 points or 0.24% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 7.73%.

 

Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive; advisor.ca